Around 11 million Americans have age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of blindness. If you have a family history of AMD, the expert optometrists at Catonsville Eye Group provide comprehensive eye exams to monitor your eye health and treatments to manage your disease. Call the practice or schedule an appointment online today to meet with leading eye-health practitioners in Catonsville, Maryland.
AMD occurs when your macula — the part of your retina that controls your central vision — deteriorates. Your macula allows you to recognize faces, read, drive, and see fine detail. AMD is found most often in people over the age of 80 and affects more white people than other races and ethnicities.
There are two types of AMD, wet and dry. Dry AMD is more common, affecting 85-90% of people with the disease. Dry AMD develops when your macula becomes thinner, and protein deposits called drusen grow as you age.
While wet AMD is less common, it’s the more severe form of the disease. Wet AMD develops when new blood vessels grow under your retina and leak fluid into your eye, scarring your macula. This form of the disease progresses much more rapidly.
AMD doesn’t cause noticeable symptoms in its early stages. However, as the disease progresses, you may notice that your central vision becomes blurry or shadowed.
It’s critical to have regular eye exams because your optometrist can detect early signs of AMD while examining your retina.
Your family medical history is a primary indicator of your risk for developing AMD. Other AMD risk factors include:
Also, if you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or heart disease, your chances of developing AMD increase.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for AMD. However, if you have wet AMD, your optometrist can prescribe anti-VEGF medicines to slow or stop the progression of your disease. The medications for wet AMD are injected directly into your eye and reduce the abnormal blood vessels in your eye. You may also benefit from photodynamic therapy in combination with medication.
You can reduce your risk of AMD by taking vitamins and minerals including:
You should also follow a healthy, balanced diet that includes plenty of green, leafy vegetables and other colorful fruits and vegetables. Your optometrist can provide advice on eye-healthy foods and nutritional supplements to protect your eye health and vision.
Call Catonsville Eye Group or schedule a comprehensive eye exam online today. Regular exams are the best way for your optometrist to diagnose eye conditions like AMD early to start treatment to control your disease.